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AdventureStats: Antarctica 2011/12

Posted: Feb 09, 2012 03:24 am EST

(AdventureStats) The preliminary stats for all South Pole expeditions are up. Here are some reflections from the past season, 100 years after Amundsen's discovery.

Style

ExplorersWeb's Newsdesk was flooded this year with comments especially about the two British girls Helen Skelton and Felicity Aston.

Felicity had resupplies at the South Pole and Thiels which invalidated her solo crossing claim.

Helen Skelton started halfway to the pole with a boyfriend/guide and a support car. Her various claims of world records became her most memorable achievement.

As for other English roses: previous South Pole speed record holder (40 days from Hercules) UK Hannah McKeand did her 5th successful SP trip as a guide for visually disabled Alan Lock (US). No other explorer has done more than 3 full South Pole expeditions.

There was also word about some skiers following snowcat tracks. Available at Antarctica only in recent years, trails prepared by snow machines significantly help navigation and traction and must be avoided by skiers claiming no outside assistance.

Alexander Gamme's double record

At 2260km Norwegian Alexander Gamme broke the record for the longest unsupplied and unassisted skiing trek at Antarctica. Gamme also took the unofficial sportsmanship award in waiting for Aussie skiers Cas and Jonesy at the finish line.

Full but shorter trips trending, kiting blowing up

The anniversary inspired a record number of full trip skiers. 48 explorers skied from the coast to the pole; up from 34 in 2010/2011.

Out of those, 16 chose to ski the shorter routes from Ronne-Filchner or Ross Ice shelf. Only 9 went from Hercules and no one started from Berkner.

Out of 48 skiers 21 used kites this year. Compare that to the previous 99 years of polar travel when out of 283 skiers only a total 22 used kites. Where one in ten skiers used sails in previous years, every other skier did so this year. A record 9 kiters took of from Novo to take advantage of good winds.

Kiting over 5000 kms Belgians Dixie Dancecoer and Sam Deltour accomplished the longest distance at Antarctica in one season.

Check out the new statistics here and please send corrections if needed.











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(Aleks left, no flag). His decision cost him a supreme world record but had the entire polar community jump to their feet in unanimous acclaim.
courtesy Aleksander Gamme, SOURCE
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